Essential Items to Buy in Japan in Summer | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
Summer Products

Essential Items to Buy in Japan in Summer

By Margherita May 29, 2023

When it comes to summer in Japan, there are popular must-have items that can help you beat the heat and survive the infamous humidity. Whether you’re exploring bustling cities like Tokyo or enjoying the beautiful beaches of Okinawa, here are some essential summer items you should get while in Japan.

Portable Fans and Coolers

Portable fans are widely used in Japan, especially during the hot and humid summer months. They provide a convenient way to stay cool and beat the heat while on the go. 

Folding Fans (Sensu)

Folding fans, known as “sensu” in Japanese, are foldable handheld fans, usually made of paper or fabric, and have a collapsible structure that allows them to fold and unfold. Sensu fans are often carried in purses or bags and can be used for both functional and decorative purposes.

Traditional Japanese Fans (Uchiwa)

Japanese Uchiwa Summer Fan

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Traditional Japanese fans, known as “uchiwa” in Japanese, are traditional, non-foldable fans. They are typically made of paper or fabric and attached to a bamboo or plastic handle. 

Uchiwa fans are lightweight, compact, and often decorated with beautiful designs, including traditional patterns or anime characters.

Electric Fans

Electric portable mini fans are another common type of portable fan in Japan. These fans are battery-powered and offer various speed settings to adjust the airflow. They are compact, easy to carry in a bag or pocket, and some models even come with misting features for an extra cooling effect.

USB Fans

USB fans are convenient options that can be powered by connecting them to a USB port, such as a power bank or a laptop. They come in different sizes and styles, including handheld or desk fans.

Neck Fans

Neck fans have gained popularity in recent years: starting from the beginning of May, every year, they invade the shelves of convenience and drug stores in all shapes and variations. These fans are worn around the neck and provide a hands-free cooling experience. They usually have built-in fans or small propellers that direct airflow toward the face and neck. 

UV Clothing and Garments

UV-cut clothes, also known as sun protection clothing, are popular in Japan, especially during the summer months when people are concerned about protecting their skin from harmful UV rays. UV-cut clothes are designed with fabrics that have a high ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) to block out the sun’s rays and reduce the risk of sunburn and skin damage. 

How does this work? These fabrics are specially treated or woven to block a significant amount of UV radiation. The UPF rating indicates the level of UV protection provided by the fabric. The fabrics are also breathable and quick drying.

UV-cut clothes come in various styles and forms, catering to different needs and preferences. You can find UV-cut T-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, dresses, hats, scarves, gloves, and even swimsuits. The game-changer for me has been the UV-cut sleeves that you can pop on when wearing a t-shirt or a tank top when you are exposed to the sun for a prolonged period of time.

Popular brands that offer UV-cut clothing in Japan include Uniqlo, GU, Oshman’s.

Cooling Products

During the hot and humid summer, Japan offers a wide range of cooling products to help control sweat and body temperature. Here are some popular cooling products that you can find in Japan during summer.

Cooling Towels

Cooling towels are designed to provide instant relief from the heat. These towels are typically made of moisture-wicking and quick-drying materials. When soaked in water and wrung out, they create a cooling effect when placed on the skin. 

Cooling Gel, Spray and Sheets

Cooling gels and sheets are applied directly to the skin for a refreshing and cooling sensation. They often contain ingredients like menthol or cooling agents that provide a soothing effect when applied. These products come in various forms, including gels, patches, or sheets that can be placed on specific areas of the body.

Cooling sprays and mists are portable and convenient products that provide an instant cooling effect. They typically contain ingredients like menthol or essential oils that create a refreshing sensation when sprayed onto the skin.

Cooling Pillows and Mattress Toppers

Cooling pillows and mattress toppers are designed to regulate body temperature during sleep. They are made of materials that promote airflow and heat dissipation, keeping you cool and comfortable throughout the night.



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A must during the summer season is having good sunscreen at hand at all times. Luckily Japan is quite well-known for its great range of affordable and high-quality sunscreen available in any convenience store and drug store. Japanese sunscreen comes in many different formulations and textures. If you want to know more about Japanese sunscreen check out our dedicated post.

Embrace the Summer Heat With Style and Comfort

Japan is known for its unique and seasonal products, and summer is no exception. We hope you will get the chance to try some of these summer-changing products you can find and buy in Japan during the summer.

Related articles:

Easy Advice and Must-Haves to Survive Summer in Japan

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